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First team report  

Tue 10th Jan 2017
Spartan South Midlands Premier Division
St Margaretsbury 1-4 TAFC First team

TAFC goals: Kieran Turner (2), Lee Stobbs (2)

Any disappointment lingering from Saturday's cruel FA Vase defeat were dispelled with this vibrant performance against an in form Bury side that recently spanked a high flying Welwyn Garden City side 5-2. This was probably the best football we have played this season and but for a superb display from home keeper Adam Seymour who produced a series of terrific saves we could well have reached double digits.

The highlight was a magnificent strike from Lee Stobbs in the 37th minute which even surpassed the goal he scored at Levy Green in early December. With the keeper out of his goal having probably thought he had cleared the danger, Stobbsy collected the ball just inside the opposition half and then volleyed it into the empty net with the keeper frantically trying to get back to prevent a goal. There was some debate as to how far out it was but we settled on 45 yards in the end.

There was no signs of any hangover from the weekend and we were positive from the start and were duly rewarded with an early goal after only 8 minutes. Kieran Turner latched onto a loose ball just outside the area then seemed to cut right through the centre of the Bury defence before coolly slotting it past the keeper. It was a typical well taken goal from Kieran and got us off to a fine start. Score 0-1.

Bury won a corner straight from the restart and cleverly played it out to their onrushing right back Michael Cooper who struck the ball cleanly but well wide. Kieran and Stobbsy were causing problems for the home defence with their forceful runs but Bury were dangerous on the break with their centre forward Harley Haag firing a good shot at Jack Hopwood after we conceded possession in midfield.

George Brinkman was spraying the ball around superbly, one such pass out to the right wing found Lee Stobbs who went past the full back and shot just wide of the far post. It was then Dave O'Connor's to turn play maker finding Kieran Turner unmarked down the left wing with a raking pass. Kieran got to the bye line and pulled the ball back but a defender managed to get a touch to the ball to prevent a goal.

A George Brinkman cross was missed by the defender but he was rescued by his keeper who beat away a shot from Lee Stobbs. The keeper had been faultless but he did fumbled a cross and was probably relieved to see a colleague clear the danger. Despite dominating the game for the first 37 minutes we still only had a slender 1-0 goal lead but then came Stobbsy's Beckhamesgue moment to give us a two nil lead. Score 0-2.

We created a couple more opportunities before the break with a Lee Stobbs shot beating the keeper but going wide of the post then following a short corner Kieran Turner's shot was deflected across goal. Bury had not tested Jack Hopwood much but Ryan Wade struck a fierce free kick which Hoppy was able to gather.

After a fairly dominant first half performance we went in for our half time cuppas with a useful two nil lead. HT Score 0-2.

The home side made a change at the start of the second half bringing on forward Billy Murray for defender Sean Givernaud. They moved to three at the back and adopted a more attacking formation. Coupled with some undoubted words of advice during the interval Bury started the second period on the front foot looking for the goal that would bring them right back into contention.

Chris Webb hit a super shot from way out on the right wing that dipped just over the bar as we were forced to dig in and defend. We had to make a change when Chris Vardy, who appeared to take a knock in the first half, was replaced by Chris Stapleton seven minutes after the restart.

We gave away a couple of free kicks in potentially dangerous areas giving Ryan Wade the opportunity to whip the ball into our area, which fortunately we managed to deal with. But from one free kick the ball was sliced high into the air and there was an anxious moment before we managed to clear our lines.

We weathered the early storm and should have extended our lead in the 56th minute but from within the 6 yard box Chris Stapleton headed Lee Stobbs cross wide.

We had been playing the ball out from the back successfully which was a pleasure to watch but on the hour Jack Hopwood had a moment he will want to forget when he passed straight to Harley Haag who gladly slotted the ball into the empty net. If we want to play out from the back then there is an element of risk and perhaps we could have worked harder to give Hoppy some better options, but it was one of those things and hopefully it wont put us from continuing this welcoming tactic. Score 1-2.

Having been second best for most of the game Bury smelted an opportunity to get right back in the game and there was a bit of anxiety but not for long as within a few minutes George Carbery and Lee Stobbs had forced great saves from the keeper and within 7 minutes we had restored our 2 goal advantage. Chris Stapleton hit the post, the keeper saved the follow up shot from George Carbery but could do nothing to prevent Kieran Turner from grabbing his second of the match. Bury were enraged about the goal, believing there was an offside and that the ball had gone out of play before Stapes headed it, but the Officials saw nothing wrong and awarded the goal. Score 1-3.

We made some changes bringing off Luke Dunstan for Ben Seaton and then replacing Dave O'Connor with Skipper Dan Steadman. A word about Luke who formed a super midfield partnership with George Brinkman and was celebrating his 20th birthday. He seems to have been around for ages for one still so young but has already clocked up more 100 first team appearances with hopefully many more to come.

In the 79th minute we made the game safe with Seymour making a good save from Chris Stapleton who turned his marker and hit a super shot, but Lee Stobbs was on hand to follow up and find the net. Score 1-4.

After that it was the Adam Seymour show, making point blank saves from George Carbery and Dave O'Connor as well as keeping out shots from Sam Joliffe, Ben Seaton, Lee Stobbs and Chris Stapleton. In addition Kieran hit the post and shot just wide and Chris Stapleton had a shot headed off the line. The last chance of the game fell to sub Anthony Anstead who was picked out by a superb cross but from a great position he shot wide. FT Score 1-4.

Full marks to Ian Richardson and Colin Phillips for picking up the players after their chins must have been around their knees after the disappointment of 3 days earlier. They need to include their technique in a management motivation book!

Also good to see that the team is adaptable and able to change formations to suit different opposition. Against Sporting Khalsa we lined up with a 5-4-1 formation but we changed to a more attacking 4-2-3-1 line up in this game and it clearly paid dividends.

The win pushed us up to 6th in the table and if we won all our games in hand we could reach as high as third. London Colney are leading the way with 61 points from 25 games and the only team that could catch them at the moment is Hertford Town who have three games in hand and are 9 points behind.


SM: 1 Adam Seymour 2 Michael Cooper (Capt) 3 Ryan Goodman 4 Danny Charles (15 Lee Roberts 75) 5 Sean Givernaud (12 Billy Murray HT) 6 Joel Maybury (16 Anthony Anstead 77) 7 Chris Webb 8 Rian Carroll 9 Harley Haag 10 Ryan Wade 11 George Beattie. Subs not used: 14 Attila Korsoveczki GK Richard Hayward.

TA: 1 Jack Hopwood 2 Tommy Twelves 3 Chris Mason 4 George Brinkman 5 David O'Connor (15 Dan Steadman 73) 6 Luke Dunstan (12 Ben Seaton 68) 7 Lee Stobbs 8 Sam Joliffe (Capt) 9 Chris Vardy (14 Chris Stapleton 52) 10 Kieran Turner 11 George Carbery.


SM: Harley Haag (60)

TA: Kieran Turner (8, 67), Lee Stobbs (37, 79).

Crowd: 56

(No photos on file)